Mistletoe - Viscum album
An amazing plant that lives parastically in trees, extracting all the nutrients it needs from its host tree. Although it is a parasitic plant, mistletoe has an important role to play in the ecosytem, especially for birds and animals.
Historically it has been a plant admired by many cultures and it has many traditions associated with it, such as hanging it up to welcome in the new year, kissing under mistletoe & also it was said that carrying mistltoe warded off epileptic fits.
There is some controversy about exactly how poisonous mistletoe is and recent research is revealing that it is not as deadly as once thought, although it is best not to take mistletoe unless under the guidance of a herbalist as it can be very toxic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2877602
Mistletoe is used by herbalists for conditions affecting the nervous system, circulatory system & respiratory system and is most commonly used by modern herbalists as a nervine and as a component of treatment for high blood pressure. Traditionally it has also been used to treat eplilepsy, cancer and heart failure.
To make a tincture of this plant I have used 400g of fresh leaves in 1300ml of solution. In order to establish how strong the tincture will be I have measured the amount of water & alcohol used to calculate the alcohol percentage and total volume of the tincture. In this case I have added 1040ml of vodka (40%) and 260ml of water, which means the solution is 32% alcohol. I have also taken a sample of the mistletoe used (100g) and will dry it to use for tea. When it is dried I will weigh it again to establish how much water was in the fresh mistletoe. Using this information I can then calculate very accurately the amount of dried mistltoe in the tincture and also the amount of extra water (that was in the mistletoe) that went in. This will help get the dosage right.
After 2 or 3 weeks of leaving the mistletoe in the alcohol I will strain the plant material out and the tincture will be complete!
If you try this recipe, please make sure you consult with a herbalist before trying any of the tincture as mistletoe can be extremely toxic.